Alcaraz a 1st-time Wimbledon men’s champion, retains No. 1 ranking over Djokovic

An arduous start pushed Carlos Alcaraz to the brink of being down two sets against Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon title match.

Someone who won the first two Grand Slam tournaments of his career at the age of 23. Someone who is seeking their fifth consecutive championship at the All England Club, which would tie the overall record. Someone who hadn’t lost at Centre Court in a decade. Someone who has not let anyone, including Djokovic, defeat him alone. Someone who is facing a daunting deficit of sorts in his second major final at the age of 20.

The Spaniard came through the fifth set of the crucible, and soon after, he delivered a masterpiece in the 25th minute of the game. Alcaraz then came through with a point of 32, accompanied by the cries of his more experienced and older opponent’s nickname, “No-le! No-le!” From the stands, the choruses of “Car-los! Car-los!” Managed to come through in the tiebreaker, showing just how special Alcaraz is. Wimbledon winning would make it much more special, as someone called him “our sport’s legend.” Djokovic wanted this shot at the champ, Alcaraz, in the last year’s U.S. Open, but alas.

In an engaging and back-and-forth final, Alcaraz claimed his first Grand Slam title and second overall trophy at Wimbledon on Sunday. He swooped in and edged out Djokovic by winning the match 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, (6) 7-6, 1-6. This victory put an end to Djokovic’s 34-match winning streak at the All England Club and transformed Alcaraz into a potential star. Many people had predicted that he would mark himself as the No. 1-ranked player and he lived up to all of it.

Said Alcaraz, the third-youngest individual to emerge victorious in the grass-court major during the Open era, which commenced in 1968, subsequent to Boris Becker and Bjorn Borg, “Did not become discouraged, did not surrender.” “Exceptional exchanges, remarkable points we executed. Lengthy sets. It was an extensive, extensive match. The psychological aspect that enabled me to persevere, it was.”

WATCH | Alcaraz defeats Djokovic in a 4 1/2-hour-plus Wimbledon final.

Since 2002, this represented a shift in dominance in men’s tennis, and for many, he is the initial player outside the distinguished group consisting of Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray to win Wimbledon.

Djokovic expressed, with great emphasis, that he had never encountered a player of his caliber before, despite having competed against Federer and Nadal in numerous extraordinary matches over an extended period of time.

“He has demonstrated,” Djokovic stated, “that he is the top player globally, without a doubt.”

From 1974 onwards, the age difference between Alcaraz and the 36-year-old Djokovic, who shed tears during the trophy ceremony, was the broadest in any men’s Slam final.

On Sunday, as things began to shift, signs showing nerves hit him in Paris, with Alcaraz making nine unforced errors in the opening set against Djokovic. After that, he flung his racket away as he fell. At 4-all in the second set, Djokovic slipped on a worn patch behind the baseline, under the Royal Box. Then, during the next changeover, Djokovic flexed one leg by bending it over the other, plopping his left heel on the net and stretching it further.

In the Grand Slam tournament, and with a winning streak of 15 matches, he emerged victorious in all six decisive sets he competed in at Wimbledon before reaching the final: in the face of Djokovic’s control, they would proceed to a tiebreaker.

Djokovic took the lead with a set point of 6-5, remaining calm despite receiving a warning from chair umpire Fergus Murphy regarding his time taken to serve.

However, two netted backhands by Djokovic brought Alcaraz within a point of winning that set.

“The backhands somewhat disappointed me,” Djokovic would express later.

‘I likely could have been defeated in 3 sets’

Absorbing the moment, Alcaraz pivoted with his right hand to his ear while spectators in the stands stood up to cheer. Maintaining the stance of his follow-through, Alcaraz subsequently executed a backhand passing shot off the response to a 118 mph serve, resulting in a winning point.

Alcaraz stated, “Had I lost that set, it is likely that I would not have been able to hoist the trophy.” “It is possible that I could have been defeated in three sets.”

They had already been playing for two hours and had completed two sets.

One set per person.

Now it was a game.

It started to feel unforgettable.

Appeared significant, albeit only one match. Both individuals were unwilling to give up anything. Neither gentleman desired to yield. The fifth match of the third set could have justified the expensive ticket on its own.

“Let’s go!” Shouting and tilting his head backwards, Alcaraz rejoiced in his 4-1 advantage in the set when Djokovic struck a forehand into the net, resulting in a break. This occurred on one occasion out of the five times he lost his serve in the match, surpassing the total number of times his previous six opponents were able to do so collectively.

However, Djokovic did not leave. He elevated his performance once more, extending this fantastic battle to a fifth set.

At that point, Djokovic had several reasons to be optimistic: He entered Sunday with a 10-1 record in five-set matches at Wimbledon and 35-9 at all Grand Slam tournaments.

However, those games were in the past.

The arena reverberated with gasps of impressed onlookers as he exerted every ounce of his strength in each swing. With an exhale of “Uhhh-ehhh!” And a smack of his racket, he unleashed a forehand sledgehammer serve, making every observer believe in his invested fiber. His top serves reach speeds of 130 mph.

He displays a game as varied as possible, with the ability to volley well-disguised shots that helped him get back into thick of the second and third sets.

Nobody else was able to retrieve Alcaraz’s seemingly conclusive shots in the same manner, with such extensive muscle memory. On the other hand, Djokovic possesses an ample array of skills. He would exert great effort, extend his body, and frequently slide almost into a split.

Additionally, he has experienced and accomplished things in ways that Alcaraz, at this moment, can only imagine.

If Alcaraz is able to secure a victory on a cloudy and windy day like this, it would be a significant indication of his progress and success.

Murphy incurred a code infringement and damaged his equipment. In response to the impact, Djokovic vehemently struck his racket against the net post, swiftly recovering after stumbling during the point. Sealing the deal with a remarkable backhand passing shot, he secured a break and took a 2-1 lead in the fifth set, solidifying his position in the match.

Alcaraz, not Djokovic, received the gold trophy, then rolled in the grass after the final point and covered his face. The man across the net possessed him, and he never gave up on the matter of will and skill. Alcaraz would play for another 24 minutes, without ever relenting.

“It’s something that I will always remember,” Alcaraz said. “That’s definitely true.”

Hsieh Su-Wei from Taiwan and Barbora Strycova from the Czech Republic emerged victorious on Centre Court, defeating Elise Mertens from Belgium and Storm Hunter from Australia with a score of 7-5, 6-4 on Sunday. This win marked their second Wimbledon doubles championship as a team.

Hsieh converted their second match point with a backhand as the 2019 champions broke in the final game of the second set.

Strycova came out of retirement this year after giving birth to her son, and she said she expects to be at Wimbledon.

Strycova expressed, “I couldn’t request a more ideal conclusion.” “Let’s simply enjoy ourselves,” she stated. “Indeed, let’s pursue that. There is no longer any COVID. Let’s attempt to participate in Wimbledon 2023 purely to return and experience the ambiance.” “Presently, we are here with the trophy. It’s unbelievable,” she remarked.

She was injured in 2022, and the 2020 edition of the tournament was canceled due to the pandemic. She also teamed up with Mertens to lift the trophy — she has now won the women’s doubles title three times in the last three grass-court Grand Slam tournaments.

Xinyu Wang from China teamed up with Hsieh in June to win the doubles tournament at the French Open, securing their second consecutive Grand Slam title.

Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond emerged victorious in the U.S. Open in 2021 at the ages of 35 and 38, respectively, surpassing a record previously established by Hsieh and Strycova, both aged 37. This achievement solidified their status as the most senior women’s doubles pair, in terms of combined age, to ever advance to a Grand Slam final.

Mertens was searching for her fourth Grand Slam championship in total, while Storm was attempting to secure her first.

17-year-old youngest Wimbledon champion

Oda Tokito became the youngest man to win a singles title at Wimbledon, after defeating Alfie Hewett in the final of the men’s wheelchair discipline.

After winning the French Open in June, the 17-year-old Japanese player won his second consecutive Grand Slam title by defeating his opponent on Court 1 with a score of 2-6, 4-6.

“I’m still 17. So, I want to open a champagne, but I couldn’t,” Oda said. “So, I have to drink sparkling water.”.

At the age of 17 years and 33 days, Oda became the youngest man to win a Grand Slam singles title in any discipline, excluding juniors. Hewett, who also made it to the French Open final, was defeated by him in a victorious manner.

In 1985, Boris Becker became the youngest champion in the men’s singles category at the All England Club at the age of 17 years and 228 days. He achieved victory at the Wimbledon tournament when he was 17 years old and 69 days.

Yui Kamiji of Japan and Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa were defeated by the Dutch pair in the final of the women’s wheelchair doubles. The Dutch duo, consisting of Diede De Groot and Jiske Griffioen, secured another title by winning the singles matches, followed by a victory in the doubles match, with a score of 6-1, 6-4.

Griffioen emerged victorious in her 15th significant doubles championship. Out of these, three were achieved at Wimbledon, with a remarkable total of 17 in the doubles category. Currently, she holds a total of 19 titles and has achieved an impressive streak of 11 consecutive Grand Slam victories in the singles final, where she defeated Griffioen De Groot.